Bishop Kurkeil Mubarak Khamis (1942-1996)

Initially the charity work we now do was done in the name of the Bishop Mubarak Fund for Nuba Women. This page details the man that gave his name to that venture.

Bishop Mubarak preaching

Bishop Mubarak preaching

Kurkeil Mubarak Khamis (1942-1996) was born at Orembi, Jallabo village, near Haiban in what is today Sudan’s South Kordofan province. His father, Chief Khamis Omendri of the Attoro tribe, was the first Christian in that area of the Nuba Mountains. After graduating from Kawda Primary School in 1953, Kurkeil attended Katsha Intermediate School and the Dilling Teacher Training Institute and, in 1961, entered the Church of Christ Bible School at Shanaya. Over the next two years, touring on a horse which was a gift from his father, Kurkeil established churches at Jallabo, Saddora, Shawry and Debbi in the Attoro area as well as in other Nuba areas including those of the Moro, Tirra and Kirra tribes. His leadership and athletic abilities were further demonstrated by his becoming a "first class hero" of Nuba wrestling.

After joining the Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) in 1963, the future bishop served as a pastor at Kosti and in other areas of northern Sudan. He did not, however, become a deacon until 1974. On 9 August 1975 he was ordained priest and in 1977 enrolled in a Bible teachers’ training course in Omdurman. Within a short while he was back in the Nuba Mountains, serving first at Katsha and later in Kadugli from 1982-3.

Kurkeil Mubarak Khamis was consecrated a Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Sudan in 1984 and, after the death of Bishop Tiya Shokai in 1985, was assigned responsibility for the Khartoum bishopric, a post he held until 1987.

Following resolution of a rift within the ECS, he was nominated by the Council of Bishops to be Bishop of El Obeid, the position he held until his death from liver cancer on 17 September 1996. He was survived by his widow Zahara and their five sons and three daughters.

Bishop Mubarak Sitting

Bishop Mubarak

Among the numerous achievements -- in addition to evangelism, promotion of education and church planting -- with which Bishop Mubarak is credited, are Bible translation and distribution and persuading the Attoro people to descend from the hills to settle in the fertile areas of Debbi and Kawda. He also helped establish the first ECS office for development and planning (SUDRA) and in early 1996 negotiated exchange of a plot of land in El Obeid in compensation for church property which had been confiscated by local authorities. In recognition of his courage and efficiency, he was awarded the President of the Republic Medal.

Bishop Mubarak was widely regarded as a man of faith, wisdom, patience and rare courage. He was known for his hospitality, his love for children, his commitment to peace and his urgent desire for equality and justice for all. After his death Lillian Craig Harris, the wife of the British Ambassador to Sudan, decided to set up a scholarship fund for Nuba women in Bishop Mubarak’s name and in so doing received the permission and encouragement of the late bishop’s family.

The Women's Education Partnership is grateful to the family of the late bishop for information included in this biographical report.